Day 235: The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)

220px-LifeaquaticposterI honestly believe that one of the greatest comedy movie actors of all time or at least in the last 30 to 40 years is Bill Murray (Ghostbusters). Every decade, he surprises us with how relevant he continues to be with every film that he stars in and that is the case with today’s film The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou. Steve Zissou (Murray) is a world famous oceanographer who has produced great documentaries of his voyages over the years. After one production, his partner Esteban (Seymour Cassel) is killed by a mysterious shark called the Jaguar Shark. The public questions the existence of the shark, so Steve gathers up a crew that includes his estranged wife, a man who is quite possibly his son, and a pregnant reporter who has a low opinion of him along for the ride. The film stars Owen Wilson (Zoolander 2) as Ned Plimpton, Willem Dafoe (Spider-Man) as Klaus, Cate Blanchett (The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button) as Jane Winslett-Richardson, Anjelica Huston (The Adams Family) as Eleanor Zissou, Jeff Goldblum (Jurassic Park) as Alistair Hennessey, Michael Gambon (Gosford Park) as Oseary Drakoulias, Noah Taylor (Edge Of Tomorrow) as Vladimir, Seu Jorge (City Of God) as Pele, Robyn Cohen (Burned) as Anne-Marie, Waris Ahluwalia (The Grand Budapest Hotel) as Vikram, and the film was directed by Wes Anderson (Moonrise Kingdom).

life-aquatic3I definitely have to check out more films from Wes Anderson cause he definitely has his own style of films that you instantly recognize as his. He is in part the true definition of what François Truffaut and his colleagues coined Auteurs. Wes wrote and directed the film meaning he took full artistic responsibility for the film like an author would for a book. The thing that made me fall in love with this film was the various tones and colors that are present in this film. There are just so many colors that take precedence in this film that makes it truly amazing. Even the wildlife that are presented in the film are very colorful and cool looking even though we know that they are fake. This is probably one of the most amazing films to feature Bill Murray and it was just so well written that he was a natural fit for the part. All of the subplots within the film were even written so well that it was hard for me to find any faults. The film isn’t your typical comedy because it doesn’t contain stupid comedy or slapstick comedy, but it is otherwise a parody tribute to French diver Jacques-Yves Cousteau. The film may have bombed in the box office, but that doesn’t mean that the film is awful, it just means it takes time to recognize real art. I am a  huge fan of this film and I think that this is one to put on your list. That is why I am going to give the film The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou an A- because the production sets and the story was excellently done.

Day 231: Hail, Caesar! (2016)

hail-ceasarSometimes there are films that come out that either get a bad review or there just not in the theaters that long that I overlook them. That was definitely the case with today’s film Hail, Caesar! which was gone before I got around to seeing it. The film stars Josh Brolin (The Goonies) as Hollywood Fixer Eddie Mannix who works for Capitol Studios. Eddie has a lot on his plate with having to take a western star (Alden Ehrenreich) and shuffle him to a completely different genre, trying to hide a pregnancy out of wedlock from the public eye, and even trying to figure out who kidnapped his lead star (George Clooney) during the middle of filming a really big epic movie. It’s either that or he accepts a job to work in a completely different field. The film also stars Ralph Fiennes (The Grand Budapest Hotel) as Laurence Laurentz, Scarlett Johansson (The Avengers) as DeeAnna Moran, Tilda Swinton (Moonrise Kingdom) as Thora/ Thessaly Thacker, Channing Tatum (22 Jump Street) as Burt Gurney, Frances McDormand (Fargo) as C.C. Calhoun, Jonah Hill (22 Jump Street) as Joe Silverman, Veronica Osorio (Diego And Valentina) as Carlotta Valdez, Alison Pill (Milk) as Mrs. Mannix, Fisher Stevens (Short Circuit) as Communist Writer, and the film was directed by Ethan and Joel Cohen (No Country For Old Men).

hailI am a huge fan of the olden days of Hollywood and America at the time with the fashion, hairstyles, and just the way of life. So it’s easy for me to say that I really enjoyed that aspect of the film, but as far as the overall film was concerned, I didn’t think it was a great film. I thought the film was relatively OK for a Cohen’s brothers movie. The film for a while seemed to be a behind the scenes look at what went down in the classic Hollywood era of the big studios and the way they covered up scandals from the press. The kidnapping of George Clooney’s character to me seemed more like a side story than the main focus of the film which kind of bothered me, but usually anything that was happening it always went back to it. Some of the things I enjoyed watching was how the films were made and the big scenes that we saw like the pool scene with Scarlet or the bar scene with Channing. Those were some of the cool moments of the film that maybe people overlooked. The film was also commentary on the ideals of those times especially with the paranoia of communism. That was a big issue back in those days and the writers are the ones that organize it in this film. They feel they need more recognition than they get which was also maybe a sign of the times then. It’s not a terrible movie, but it’s not great either. That is why I am going to give the film an B for a final grade. Rent it from Redbox or On demand if it’s available.